What’s this about?
This is Peter and Maureen Scargill's Spanish website. We live in Galera in Andalusia (for clarity, that is the English spelling - Mid-Spain they spell it Andalucia and pronounce it "And-a-loo-thee-a").

We've had a home in Spain for more than 14 years and it is now our permanent base though we retain a small home in the UK.

Find out more about this by reading through the blog entries, menu-accessible pages and archives if you're interested! Welcome to Peter and Maureen's Spanish website.

Get in touch via Facebook Peter's Facebook Page
Please follow Peter on Twitter Follow Peter on Twitter
Join Peter's LinkedIn network Join Peter on LinkedIn

Archive for the ‘Rio Tinto’ Category

The Spanish Summer Adventure

toastStarting in Galera, then off via Granada , Seville (on the way back), Rio Tinto and Portugal – what an adventure – the general idea at the start was to leave Galera (right on the map – we’re looking at the south end of Spain here) on Monday, pop into Baza for an early morning sandwich and then head off down to Gibraltar to spend a little time with Gemma Vasquez and her husband (Gemma heads up the GFSB – the Gibraltar Small Business organisation over there – and as a Brit who has been there more than once and listened to the traders and local government complaining, I have considerable sympathy for the hassle the people of Gibraltar from time to time get from the Spanish authorities) and then head off to Huelva in Spain for some history.

Well, as it happens,  all of that mutated into something completely different and we scrapped the Gibraltar trip PARTLY due to fears of horrendous queues at the border and partly due the inevitable restrictions caused by Maureen’s (at the time) bust foot. As it turns out, I emailed Gemma to apologise for our change of plans – and it would seem that was a smart move as that the queues at the border were as bad as ever – with a change for the worse which apparently allowed Spanish traders into Gibraltar without issue while making everyone else wait!!! I wonder if our press ever picked up on that.


So – the revised plan took us to Rio Tinto and Huelva. Let me explain – Rio Tinto is a small town and also a mining area in South West Spain not far off Portugal, famous for a river that runs blood-red due to the iron oxide and other chemicals in it. Turns out this mining has been going on since Roman times until very early in the 21st century and one of the mines is as deep as the Empire State Building is high!!! Worth a look, surely, we thought.

2 sunsSo, we set off on Monday and, as you do, we stopped off along the way, discovering Spanish towns we’ve never even thought of before – and one area we passed late in the day seemed to have two suns (see above) resembling the fictitious Star Wars planet Tatooine (a beige-colored, desolate world orbiting a pair of binary stars) – we figured we’d check that out on the return trip. We’re glad we visited Huelva – very nice – see ships lower down.

Moving on, we had arranged bed and breakfast in a little place called Rio-Tinto – straight off the Internet as you do – and what a winner. Ok, I’ll grant you we had a little issue that neither the owner nor his wife spoke much English but we Townmanaged – between Google translate, enthusiasm and arm gestures… we managed – what a REALLY nice couple – she has her own paintings all over the house – he was into gadgets and he’d taken the time to study my blog with the aid of Google…. the house was pristine, neighbourhood pleasant and they had a pool – a NICE pool.

The reason we travelled to Rio-Tinto was to see the river, which runs red due to iron oxides. We were not expecting the history we found – turns out they’ve been mining there for the last 5,000 years!!! More photos at the end of this blog entry.

All done with Rio Tinto we headed off to the Algarve in Portugal – to Vila Real to be precise – just for a quick visit before heading off home. It’s a long time since we’ve been to Portugal and I have to say after settling down for dinner at the sea front, I’m not in any mad rush to go back.

Portugal… well, the bit we were in…


So then we headed off back home – and again the strange “suns”  below, resembling Tatooine in the movie Star Wars – We had to investigate – the result – STUNNING – the twin solar collectors of Seville – 2000 mirrors, designed to produce 30MW of electricity, a world’s first. 20Km west of Seville this plant generates power from steam – receiving up to 15 hours of sunlight in summer per day… I really can’t explain how bright the tops of those towers are except to say you can see them from a long, long way away. 624 moving mirrors ensure the towers are hit with concentrated sunlight all day. Check out this link for more information.

solar collectors

And so here are more pictures of our trip…

The mines at Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto

Yes, the water really IS a strange colour…


The main roundabout at Rio Tinto… yes that’s a full size steam engine – more pics coming…

Rio Tinto[7]

Christopher Columbus history at Huelva


And inside the ships complete with sound effects..

Columbus etc

We finished our visit at the museum where we learned all about the mining operations and the fantastic range of materials they got out of them – Galena, Yeso, Quartz, Galena and much more.


The scale of the mining is (was) incredible. and  if you want to see some great pictures of the Rio Tinto area check here

Marvellous trip!

The Orce Experience

OrceTravelled to Orce last night for a meal with friends. A pleasant evening, their last for a while as they’re heading back to the UK. In the town centre there is a pizza bar who put chairs and tables out – you can’t miss it, the chairs are there as you walk into the centre.

Nice tapas.

We then headed off to the outskirts of Orce for dinner – not one of the best in terms of food and service, I think everyone would agree but pleasant enough.

OrceTonight, Maureen and I will return to the village as they have their annual medieval market in the evening and there are usually some Kodak moments to be had.. most likely an early night as tomorrow we’re off on the long drive to Rio Tinto and on to Huelva for a couple of days.

I’d planned to visit with friends in Gibraltar this summer but with the possibility of long queues thanks to intransigent Spanish authority behaviour.. and Maureen’s foot not being quite sorted yet which means I’m driving, so we decided to stick to the more direct route.

As you can see, it’s quite a trip – we’re stopping near Rio Tinto and the plan is to learn all about that area and the mining background before heading off down to Huelva the next day.

I’ll be updating Facebook and the blog.

The Trip from Galera to Huelva